07 16 2011 183853

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Japan Part 5: Aoi Matsuri

There are three big festivals (or matsuri) in Kyoto: Gion, Jidai and Aoi. I never saw the Aoi matsuri when I lived here because after seeing the Gion and Jidai ones I learned that it was all the same thing over and over again and so not worth the crowds. However as we were here and the Aoi matsuri was on, it felt like a waste not to attend.

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The crowds were terrible though.

Japan Part 4: Otagi Nembutsu-ji

This is a temple in Kyoto that has lots of stone statues of the buddha’s disciples. As you can see the statues are a bit out of the ordinary. Way back when I’d seen an ad for the place on a train but never got around to actually seeing it. This was my chance.

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After visiting the temple I went for a short hike in the rain along a nearby river. It was really nice, but after seeing warning signs for bears and snakes I became aware of the face that if anything did happen to me, with no phone and not having told anyone where I was, things wouldn’t be looking so good. The hike wasn’t so enjoyable after that.

Japan Part 3: Tokyo

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  • I already knew that sumo was amazing, but seeing it live took it to the next level. Truly the sport of kings.
  • The sushi at Tsukiji market is very good, but it would help to have some reference point besides 100 yen kaiten-sushi.
  • Capsule hotels are great and probably the best option for someone travelling on their own (for bigger groups use a love hotel).
  • The egg-shaped building previously seen in Barcelona and London is here as well. Something is up.
  • Tokyo looks better at night.

dreaming of me